Re-imagining Heartbreak High in 2014

It’s been an emotionally tough week for sports fans. Like the rest of Australia, we at The Public Apology are still reeling from the tragic incident which left the young talented cricketer, Phil Hughes, hospitalised and in a critical condition.

We are saddened and genuinely quite shell-shocked. While we wait for an update on his condition, we have come to the conclusion that, for now, we don’t really want to write about sport. As such, we have decided to interrupt our normal transmission and retreat back to the comfortable shell of childhood nostalgia. 

As such, TPA is proud to present the re-imagined version of 90’s teen drama, Heartbreak High, for a modern-day audience.

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For anyone growing up in the 1990s, Channel 10 and the ABC’s Heartbreak High (HBH) was compulsory viewing.

Like a cooler, Australian version of Degrassi Junior High, HBH appealed to the youth because it was real. Unlike the whitewashed, predominantly Anglo shows like Neighbours and Home and Away, the show had genuine, relatable characters and never shied away from grittier issues like multiculturalism, misogyny, teen pregnancy, racism and drug use.

It also popularised the eyebrow ring (hat tip: Drasic)
It also popularised the eyebrow ring (hat tip: Drazic)

In an article over at Daily Life, Danielle Binks recently called for a modern version of Heartbreak High to be brought back on to our screens.

Obviously, The Public Apology is throwing its full support behind the campaign. In an effort to get the ball rolling, we have helpfully written the eighth season of Heartbreak High, updated for a 2014 audience.

As a bit of a taster, we have presented the season outline, featuring each episode’s synopsis.

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Season Eight (2014)

Episode 1

Con gets into trouble with Katerina after she accuses him of selling her a dodgy batch of ecstasy tablets. Nick confronts Anita on cyber bullying, after a private dick pic ends up shared among her friends. Kurt gets drafted by GWS.

Episode 2

Alex Dimitriades prevents a new student from fleeing to Syria to fight for ISIS. Drazic and Anita’s relationship hits the skids after she finds Tinder installed on his iPhone. Con gets suspended after telling Mr Southgate to “rack off”.

"Rack off!"
“Rack off!”

Episode 3

Danielle gets into hot water after she is caught outsourcing her English essay to a New Delhi based student assignment service. Anita catches Ryan trying to steal their father’s e-cigarette. Peter camps in line for the new iPhone but loses his spot after he briefly leaves to grab a piccolo latte.

Episode 4

An Internet meme featuring Dennis stacking it on his razor scooter goes viral. Lee gives up his guitar ambitions and founds a low-fi, contemplative folk-tronica band (with falsetto vocals). Drazic takes up rollerblading (ironically).

Episode 5

The students protest over the Abbott Government’s Higher Education reforms. Nick has his drink-spiked while trying to pick up backpackers at ScuBar. Dennis fears he has contracted Ebola after coming down with a fever.

Played by Putu Winchester
Played by Putu Winchester

Episode 6

Drazic plans to move out of his seedy sharehouse but struggles to find a one-bedder due to lack of tenant reference. Despo opens a small whiskey bar in Redfern. Ryan joins Crossfit, quickly becomes insufferable.

Episode 7

English teacher Tom Summer (played by Simon Baker) bumps into Gemma at a Vance Joy concert, where they drunkenly hook up. The fledgling relationship puts both in a compromising position when a sordid Snapchat pic becomes public. Meanwhile, Drazic encourages his mates to embrace normcore fashion.

Episode 8

Katerina discovers her new boyfriend is a member of the Brothers 4 Life bike gang. Drazic gets angry at Anita for showing too much side-boob at a music festival. Drazic grows a Ned Kelly beard in retaliation.

A great love story
A great love story

Episode 9

Dennis, who has a Down Syndrome brother, calls for amendments to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to recognise the needs of carers. Dennis buys meth from a fellow student. Kurt organises three grams of coke ahead of Shore Thing on New Year’s Eve.

Episode 10

Katerina goes on a obscure juice detox; her weight loss startles the entire student body. Con eats all the cafeteria’s dim sims. Ryan and Kurt join rival OzTag teams, fall out after Kurt ignores an obvious tag.

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In 2014, an era in which all we strive desperately for a sense of authenticity, there would be nothing more satisfying than to see this cultural icon returned to our screens.

Here at TPA, we’re always keen to get behind a campaign, no matter how flimsy/absurd the premise. If this catches on, we’d be more than happy to write entire scripts for this re-imagined modern-day version of HBH.

In these uncertain times, we yearn for comfort in the known. Amid our lust for brioche buns and artisanal vegetables lies a deep-seated desire for Drazic, Anita and whoever Ada Nicodemou played, etc. We need this.

By Ben Shine and Dave Edwards

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